Friday, December 31, 2010

Reflecting on 2010.....

I am in my 'new' home. It was an adventure getting here, but I have arrived.
Now, I am surrounded by boxes as I am unpacking, sorting, organizing, throwing away, and all the fun stuff that comes with a move.

I am sitting looking at the snow out my back window......

I have now begun a new adventure. And tonight, 2010 comes to a close.....

Enter 2011......

I am looking forward to continuing forward progress with my training. I am going to look back at my training to reflect on what I learned and gained through this process. I am going to use 2010 as a platform for the next step forward, the next stage in my life.....

I am looking forward to accomplishing many things this coming year.
I am working on a checklist of goals.

And in the spirit of things...... My word for 2011 is traverser, from the french, meaning to cross-over, like crossing a street. This word signifies the new beginnings in stepping forward, traveling onward... continuing the journey, stepping forward. As I step into 2011..... bringing with me what I have learned in 2010.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snowy Day.......

And so...... the truck is packed, I am ready to go.......

and, here comes the snow!

So, I am stuck for another day, maybe two..... and I need to get on.
I need to step into the new and away from the old......

And yet, I am here...... watching the snow.... trusting that the delay is just a delay.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

merry christmas......

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.........

Well, i am glad i was able to take a walk in the quiet of the morning...... and enjoy the crisp clean morning air, and the stillness that comes.

It was most certainly not still in the house. And the day has much that i need to accomplish before i can say it is finished......

My life is being put in a box today, for tomorrow, i put my boxes on a truck and monday head to my new home....

And the adventure continues.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I managed to experience something I haven't experienced since my pre-retirement race.....
well, way back when, when I was still running 400s....

some call it being in the zone, some call it something else.... you know that point in time,
where the world seems to be moving in slow motion and you are only aware of the movements and actions you are taking..... colors are so bright and the sounds around you are so distinct, yet far away.... and everything seems to be in harmony, so you can move at the speed and tempo necessary to achieve your goals for the day.

And today, was just a training run.... 6 miles at base pace.... and well, my base pace keeps getting faster... and my former base pace feels slow.....

But today, as I was approaching the first 5k (in my 10k training run)..... i just felt like nothing was holding me back, down or suppressing the ability to move.... i could see each movement of my body synchronized as one collective movement for the greater good....
As I flew through the run....
As I maintained a speedy and strong tempo comfortably for the following 3 miles.

The cold didn't bother me.... in fact, i felt hot....
The wind assisted me.... even though, i was running into it.....
And my legs felt like springs....
I could feel the recoil and the flight.... in slow-motion, and yet, I was moving at a speedy pace.

And when it was complete.....
I asked myself, where have you been and why can't i do that on every run.....

I had managed to conquer the mental game today.

Another 20 for the books....

Kilometers, that is......

I ran..... and I ran hard. It seems I do that better when turmoil is mixed in my life.
And so, I ran......

The run was good. I conquered Warrenville Road.... 1/2 mile at a 15% grade. And I took it on.... and conquered.

And it felt good.

Friday, December 17, 2010

...... and i messed up.

..... and i hurt someone i care about. i sit here and cry.
and i cannot do a thing, but say a prayer....
and trust that he knows, i truly care.

and continue to focus on my training and running.....
and in turn, hope he will return to me.

it was a mistake. it was not vindictive or malicious.
it was done in good faith.....
and i chose poorly.

alas, tomorrow..... is another day.

Mile Repeats.......

These are challenging, but I love them.......

3 x 1 mile repeats, at 10k tempo. It is a race pace but not a deathly one.
This morning, I found the strength to push and run my fastest mile-repeats ever!

And then when I arrived at home, a quick jump on the scale showed I was down 3#!

I am learning to stay focused during the run, on the run..... It is sometimes easy to become distracted and challenging to maintain the focus, especially when it is cold, the run is extra long, or challenging. And in this focus, my runs are becoming faster. And I am becoming stronger.

And when I look at myself in the mirror..... I am seeing all the results of my hard work.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Taking it to the Track

On this chilly morning, my goal was to run 7 x 400m at 3k pace with a 3 minute recovery.

And so, I ran to the high school track. It was a balmy 19 degrees this morning and I still felt warm. The distance to the track is close to 2km, so I was warm when I arrived.

I stepped onto the track. The memories of the track I ran on for four years came back.... and now, no one was here to coach, to orchestrate, to observe. It was just me and my watch.

And the first 400m began....... before I knew how much time had passed, I was beginning the seventh and last 400m for the day. This was easier than last week. I felt stronger. I felt better about the overall run.

I knew my competitive nature would show-up once I stepped onto the track.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My hair is frozen.....

I just love these cold mornings when the fleece keeps you warm, and you still sweat despite the chilly temperatures around you..... under the cap, the hair gets wet, and the hair that sticks out from the cap becomes frozen.....

I love running in the cold weather.

One has to run fast, or one freezes..... I find it easier to run in the cold..... Although, I need longer to warm up....

It is exciting to see the changes happening in my body each and every morning when I look in the mirror..... I am starting to see the abs peeking through, as I am shedding the extra body fat.

I just love running.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Running Fast Hurts (the next day)

Today, I am definitely feeling the muscles saying hello after my long run yesterday!

As I am working on tempos and pacing, I am finding that my speed is increasing. I am finding my old speeds returning. I am seeing my body return to its true racing weight!!! I am challenging myself to more!!!

The result...... recovery is sometimes speedy, and sometimes slow!!! I am definitely feeling it today! And I know that a run is not in order.... recovery is the best!!!!!

I can never predict which muscles will say hello the loudest after my long run.... Today, my hips are shouting a little louder than any other muscle groups.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Running a Race for a time trial....

Today....... run a half-mary time trial.... Today, enjoy the weather....... Today, challenge yourself to run the best you can........

And today, I ran a 6 minute PR!!!!! wow.....

Glad for hills..... showed me I can conquer these in a race.
Glad for sprint-intervals in training.... taught me how to pick up the tempo mid-race-- ran a 6.45 mile somewhere in there.

Glad for eating after the racing.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

NJCU 100-day complete

My challenge with my students is complete!!! IN this, I formally challenged myself to 140 days, to set the foundation for my pursuit of excellence.

I took note of this yesterday, when the day officially ended.... and yes, I hopped on the scale.
This morning, I stepped on the scale again and wowowowow!!! I lost another 1.2#!!

Total weight loss since this whole journey began at the end of July is 23.5#!!

(Granted, I am still pursuing my true racing weight which is predicted at 160#. I say predicted as I might arrive there and find it needs to be lower or perhaps higher).

I have lost 2" off my waist and 4% body fat. Not absolutely thrilled with that.... need to work more on fat burning, and resistance training. Might even throw in some TABATA!!

But I am excited to see the progress and changes in my body!!

With the year wrapping up, I am by no means letting off the pressure to achieve my goals. I am looking forward to finishing this year strong and pursuing new and revised goals in 2011..... keeping in mind, I am also tracking my adventures through my birth year, which begins again in august!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

NJCU -- 100 day challenge concludes

Today, is day 100 of my student's 100-day challenge..... (which added 40 days to my challenge).

This morning, post-run weight was once again below my nemesis weight. I am hoping to find a new nemesis and tackle it like it isn't there. (Total loss combined in both challenges is 22#!)

Running is sometimes easier, sometimes harder..... and I challenge myself for excellence each run.

Eating is still jacked. hmmmmm..... sometimes, i am on point; sometimes, not even on the playing field. It is not the quality of the food so much.... i am not reaching for junk... it is the consistency of eating.... i can still just as easily not eat as eat. And I do this frequently..... amazing my body hasn't rejected me yet.

I am still a work in progress.....

Mile Repeats....

This morning's training brought 2 x 1 mile repeats at 10k pace.... (pretty fast)...... with 1 mile warm-up and 1 mile warm-down.


I forgot how hard running a single mile can be!
I forgot how my hair freezes in the cool air!

And the result..... I felt strong on the first run, the second not so much. I struggled.

Now, I have something to build from. I know where I need to be.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Training in the Cold.....

With the chill that has descended on the northeast, it is a challenge to get out of bed, let alone decide how to dress appropriately for training outside. I struggle with the ideal of running on a treadmill.... when it is possible for me to run outside.

And so, the socks get thicker, the running tights become cold gear, an extra layer or two is under the standard sweatshirt I run in. And add in gloves and a hat. I can deal with the cold. I can even deal with the snow.... My biggest challenge is wind and cold icy rain.

In the cold weather, it takes longer to warm-up, even if I am performing a warm-up in the house before I head out for the run. I need to recognize and understand when my legs feel warm..... if I push too hard, too soon, I could potentially injure myself. My warm-up is more than an easy run, prior to the run, I am moving.... lunging and reaching, walking with a medicine ball, skipping, perhaps even jumping rope.... to prepare my body to go! (These activities I do regardless of the weather) and then I move into an easy run.....
I save my stretching for after my shower, when I have warmed up from being outside again.

And this morning, was no different.... I was motivated to stay in bed a little longer than usual, as I was listening to the wind whip around the house. I did some reading and then attacked the planned training for the day.... In dressing, I chose my lined tights (for warmth.... need more of these), a long-sleeve tech shirt and a thermal, my hoodie, and my fleece hat and gloves.
I look like a mish-mosh of assorted colors at times.... but I want to be seen and I want to be warm!!! (I almost felt too warm with the thermal, but once the wind started blowing around mile #3, I was glad that I chose to wear the thermal.....

It always gets interesting at the end of the run, as I head up to the gym...... and I am soaked. I try to peel off some layers, without getting too cold, or too adjusted to the heat in the facility..... b/c I know I am going back outside to run or walk home.
Today, I took off the thermal and kept the hoodie and tech shirt intact..... I trained inside with more lunges, med ball work, core work and remedial work with the mini-band.

When I started to chill, I headed back home, to shower and get warm.

I am truly thankful for coffee.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

it's cold outside......

and i still ventured out into the wind and cold to run........
and it was sloppy. i felt distracted, tired, and didn't have focus....
but managed to finish my 10k run today.

i love the coconut water at the end of the journey.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Losing my shorts......

...... and now my tights..... has been a problem. the solution was to buy new shorts! now, i need to buy new tights......

I have been losing weight and dropping body fat.... and the result.... is i am losing my shorts or my tights when i am training. This morning, I actually could see the differences in the mirror as I looked at myself before I headed out on the run.

That is when it gets exciting! I still have a long way to go...... my nemesis weight said hello again this am.... and I expect to fluctuate in weight from day to day, from training and eating.... I am looking forward to crossing the next major milestone and having a new nemesis......

running the workout later in the week.....

Wednesday's hill sprints are finished!! ..... on saturday.

Wednesday, i woke to ugly rain..... monsoon type weather..... weather that would have compromised my safety to take on the challenge of the hill run..... so, I chose to post-pone the run.
For the record, I HATE TREADMILLS! So, I would rather put off a run, than run on a treadmill..... (in fact the more I see of traditional fitness facilities, the more I hate equipment-- ever notice it is wall-to-wall equipment, with no room to breathe?..... isn't training about movement, instead of standing in one spot?)

So, this am.... a brisk morning, I headed to the hill..... to run... 3 x 2 min intervals at 3k tempo with a 2 minute recovery.... and today, the intervals, while challenging were accomplished.

Friday, December 3, 2010

........ And I passed my nemesis weight......

Woo-Hoo.... Let's have a party!!!

I dropped below the weight that the scale and I have been fighting about.

And I have changed my eating..... I spent some time re-reading the paleo diet for athletes, racing weight, the spartan health regime and the warrior diet.... while all of these are sound philosophies.... i gravitate toward the spartan or warrior diet protocols.....

I love eating fruit! And have returned to enjoying my fruit -- grapefruit in the morning, and pineapple and or something else post-training and run..... For some reason, people are convinced fruit makes them fat, b/c of the natural sugars.... and yet, our closest 'relatives' in terms of digestive structure, the chimps and gorillas, eat predominantly fruit, and are lean and strong.... granted they also eat, green leaves with their protein....
These same people who have told me fruit is fattening have endorsed eating processed foods for recovery.... hmmmmmm.... (maybe it isn't the fruit after all).

Eating predominantly fruits and veggies, with protein thrown in the mix..... is a high-fiber diet.... and well, one who is trying to lose body fat shouldn't be eating grains anyway.....
(ooops, i guess i have opened a can of worms)......

Well, I will let you know what happens....
but i know this, two- days eating more fruit and i dropped below my nemesis weight on the scale!!!!

Wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Running in the Cold....

The weather turned colder during my run...... I felt it as I approached the 4 mile mark, the chill just came... I was running at a decent pace, and I felt cold.....

That made the 2 minute tempo runs a challenge.... and I struggled to finish two of these..... let alone the four.

I went to the gym and did my core work and my remedial work.....
and walked by the row of treadmills and thought, while it would be warm to run on those......

I will stick to running outside!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I finished November......

November ended on a low note.... today's run was hard. Most likely b/c i did the long run yesterday. And so, my easy base pace run of 4 miles was slow and it hurt.... running slow does hurt... I guess that is why they call it slogging!!

I completed November with the best totals of the year (so far..... let's see what december brings)

A total of 26 runs, accumulating 144.99 km (i couldn't run another .01?) and a yearly total over 832 km.... I still feel like I am running slow and at times it hurts to run..... my resistance training is not where it should be, and is not a regular schedule.... and I would like to resume jump roping and kettle bell work....

Tomorrow, december is upon us..... bringing the last 31 days of the year.... I would like to tackle the 1000 km barrier and expand my training for january as we move into 2011.....
hopefully, i will be able to clear this weight barrier that is driving me crazy!!!

And tomorrow, training continues in a new month.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Aborted Run Accomplished....

This morning, I tackled the long run........ the one I aborted yesterday.
This morning, I completed an entirely different route.
This morning, I stayed in the low grounds...... and left the hills for someone else.

I ran a consistent pace..... within 10 seconds of each kilometer..... i am pleased...... I pushed hard through the last 3km, when I wanted to quit.... when it really hurt to move, let alone run..... and then I froze on my recovery home. *cold outside, sweating, clothes wet, no one with a space blanket to greet me at the finish*

But the long run is finished..... 14.5km.... the longest I have traveled since the marathon.

Tomorrow, I am looking forward to the short run.... and easy 4 miles.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Aborting Training

This afternoon I headed out to run 14.5 km (about 9 miles). I was going to hit the mountain run and take it slow.... (whatever slow is.... seems my former fast is now my new slow tempo pace).

After a morning of pistol shooting, I headed out to run........ and 3 km into, my Left Hammie was reminding me of its presence..... and I stopped the run. I tried to run again after stretching and doing some dynamic exercises, but it didn't come together...... and so, I turned and went casually back down the mountain and planned to tackle it another day.

The question always is...... do i push when my body is saying something? is what my body saying something to be listened to or something that can be pushed through? and how do i know the difference?

I have been with my body for a long time..... and training for a long time as well.... so, I know the twitches and twangs and hiccups that happen... and what is something that can be pushed through and what needs to be held off for another day....

The discomfort I was feeling was a tightness..... something that could have loosened up.... something that when i revisited the run, did not.... so, the decision to abort was wise.... i will be foam rolling and tackling the long run tomorrow.

Not a perfect plan, but better than an injury.


This week...... was Thanksgiving.

It is easy during the holidays to either get caught up in the drama and rush-rush of the spirit of the holiday and totally miss the point or withdraw.

I know.... because I have done both. While living in Atlanta, my family was far away and I spent a lot of time at friends houses and some alone on and during the holidays.... and it was tough. While the holidays from my childhood don't always have amazing memories for me, I had hoped my adult memories would be different.... and some were; some were not. And I experienced the rush-rush.... hum-hum of the season and got caught up in the excitement, without appreciating the real reason for the holidays..... This was when i worked in retail.

And now, at a different time in my life..... I am learning to truly appreciate what and who matters.

In that, I spent some of the day in reflection and thanksgiving for all that I have..... while my life and me are not perfect (far from it).... I have life.... and I am able to choose, and I have peeps who love me.

And for those I am thankful. I am also blessed to be able to train and run and swim and bike.... doing things that I love. And know that while the training is hard, I love doing it.....

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Running Up-Hill

After yesterday morning's speedy run, my programming sent me off to a hill run.......

I am supposed to run 1 mile warm up and 1 mile warm down.... but the hill is over 2k to get there (which is a little over a mile).

And upon arrival.... my tired legs were expected to run 4 x 2 min @ 3k pace (about 7 min/mile) with a 2 min recovery.

I did it! The last 2 minute run was not pretty; but I did it!!!

And now..... my quads are asking if I remember them.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! and a scheduled rest day.... b/c of the pandemonium of the day, I will probably go for a walk in the morning and enjoy the morning air....

..... and tackle some Burn Notice.... afterall, there is a marathon tomorrow........

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

She Runs..... FAST!

And this morning.......

I PR'ed my 10k training run!!!! By much, much, much time!!! It was almost like running a race, without any other runners....

Sometimes..... I amaze myself.......

And after the run.... my coconut water, and water, and off to the gym.... for med ball work, mini-bands and core work.... and home..... to eat some breakfast and enjoy some coffee.

Monday, November 22, 2010


..... is so important to training, and yet, rest is sometimes what is neglected.

Today, is my rest day on all fronts.... no resistance training, no running, cycling, swimming, or rowing.... just rest.

And so, I have done some studying, and some prep work and some relaxing.

After all, it is my rest day!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Another 12 km and then some.....

Scheduled run: 8 miles.

Completed run: 12.59 km which equals 7.82 miles... just shy of 8 miles.

Average pace: 7.31 min/mile.... i was cruising.

I felt strong throughout the run, until I started to think about the fact that I had 5k left.... and wondering if my course had 5k left in it.... and the last 5k became a game of one more down, instead of just relaxing in the run.....

And part of it is.... the location of the mini-mart, where i purchase the coconut water with tangerine..... and so, at one facility.... i would run the length of the property and double back through the parking lot, in hopes of generating more distance, until the mini-mart to complete the 8 miles. DUH! I should have just run and dealt with the distance later.....

(Next week, 9 miles.... i think i am visiting the mountain.... JOY!)

Well, my legs really felt the run today.
I felt good.... throughout the majority of it.... smooth, relaxed, an easy pace... and it felt slow. SHOCKING!!!

And now, i anticipate.... the drama of recovery tomorrow!!!!

Everything old is new again.....

I received a complimentary GymBoss (it's a programmable timer, that can hook to your waist band to program intervals for your workouts) because of the work I do, and the fact that if I recommend it, my clients might buy it.

In the package was this flyer (of course mentioning GymBoss) which discussed Tabata.

Tabata is a cardio protocol that can be done a couple times a week, which can also be applied to resistance training. As I am reading about the research behind Tabata Interval Training.... I thought, I have seen this before. We called it gorilla cardio..... and it kicked our butts!!! (In fact, I took many students through this training and challenged co-workers to introduce to the clients who needed a push over a hump).

Gorilla Cardio was 4 minutes of running, jump rope and squat jumps.... 20 seconds hard/10 seconds rest. (4 minutes of each protocol--- i generally permitted 2 minutes recovery between modalities). I have randomly done this in a run.

And now..... we are referring to it as Tabata, after the scientist in Japan who did the research and published the work to confirm what I knew as Gorilla Cardio.

Tabata is essentially 4 minutes of cardio or 8 intervals of 20 seconds all out and 10 seconds of recovery. And then it is over. (In gorilla cardio, rest and then tackle a second and third protocol).
For the weight training protocols, one can do a front squat, a dumb bell squat to push press, or another exercise that uses maximum body in the 20 seconds. (Burpees come to mind).

The run can be replaced by jump rope, rowing, stair mill, or some other cardio).

And while I am not negating the research of Dr. T.... this goes to show you, that everything old is new again. Look back and you will see the idea originated from somewhere else.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Quote from The Centurian

'In the chaos of battle,
When the ground beneath your feet
Is a slurry of blood, puke, piss
And entrails of friends and enemies alike;

It is easy to turn to the 'gods' for salvation,
But it is soldiers who do the fighting,
and soldiers who do the dying,
And the 'gods' never get their feet wet.'

Training on Satruday

I love training on a Saturday afternoon!

My long run is Sunday mornings. If I do nothing on Saturday the run is that much harder. I like to do a short training session with a med - ball warm-up, mini-band work, some core work and then some sort of intervals on the rowing machine.

Today, I did 12 intervals that were interspersed in a 20 minute row. The intervals varied in length from 30 seconds to 90 seconds with recovery as I saw fit. At the end of the 20 minutes, I sat there catching my breath. It was good!

I am looking forward to my 8-mile run in the morning!!! (followed by a circuit).

Friday, November 19, 2010

This mornings run.....


Just love when that happens.... 4.5 mile run followed by 5 x 90 second intervals at 3K pace, with a 2 min recovery. Love it!!!

I just felt amazing.

My tempo for the runs is becoming faster and more relaxed. It is easier for me to find that tempo and I have been playing games with cadence (number of foot touches per minute)... some of these drills tear me up, but it is great!

My intervals.... TODAY! I felt amazing!!!! I just was relaxed and opened up (until I misjudged and tripped over a branch-- but recovered from that nicely).... and I just was enjoying the ground at my feet.

Sometimes, it just comes together.

Looking forward to sunday-- 8 miles at tempo.

Looking toward the end of 2010......

I was just doing the math..... I have 232.39 km to cover if I am going to complete 1000 km in 2010..... if i don't finish, that is where my goal will begin for 2011..... and I know I have the strength and ability in my running to handle 100-150 km months..... eventually, that might become closer to that distance per week.

Wow! I would not have imagined being that close after some of the hurdles I needed to cross in training with the temperature extremes from this year. Wow! I have built and continue to build a foundation from which my future training will be derived from.

The plan.... for now, is to get back my running. And while I love doing triathlons, I want a successful running season before I really add the focus of the other two events. When training for three, my run got lost.... I will use the cycle and the swim for cross-training right now, as I enjoy these.... and I will continue to row.

And that is looking ahead to 2011..... as I am reflecting back on the success of 2010.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Running Hills....

This morning.... 5 x 90 sec hill runs @ 1 mile pace.....

And off I went, over the river, through the woods, past the deer, to the famous hill.......
there is no part of this hill that is nice... even the flat is an incline......

And while each run was a challenge... i came, i saw, i conquered....... and ran my way home.

I love the challenge of the hills..... it is an equalizer. it levels the playing field. it shows me how good i am and how much better i can be. I love hills....

Will see you next Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tired Run this Morning.....

Five Miles complete...... hardest run ever!

I felt pedestrian in pace, and in fact I was.... slow! slow! slow!
My legs were sore and tired. I felt physically and emotionally spent.
I wonder how much yesterday had to do with it.........

Anyway, cycling and resistance training later.

giving it back to the scale

My impromptu weigh in this morning brought me back to the weight i was before the scale so graciously gifted me 6#...... I was so happy to return it in kind.

I am looking forward to the next 25 days, as I finish the 100-day challenge that was begun with my students. I am trusting that by years end, I will be closer to my racing weight!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Drama, Drama, Drama......

Mondays........ are supposed to be my rest day in my week of training.

I expect mondays to be restful. Generally speaking, I work from my home office and do some resistance training. This morning, I was greeted at 5 am by drama created within the home I am moving from..... (ever know people that just exude stress).
AND.... it seemed the day just continued from there............

While I was doing my best to flow...... I was tackled at every corner by some sort of drama that was seeking me out. Honestly, from my grandmother, to the insurance company, to the people in the food store, to some fool who thought interrogating me was the way to find out if we had something in common, and couldn't understand why i got indignant with him..... to the point that I bought one of the froo-froo coffee drinks to 'feel better.'

And finally, I was able to work out some of my frustration..........

It seems the only way I feel better at times, is by physically moving my aggression..... by running. (And yes, it was an off day!) But out I went.... the plan was just to run an easy 5K to relax and get some of the anxious energy out of my system.....
And I ran..... I mean I ran!!!

I finished the 5K with an average pace of 6.30 min/mile.... I was cruising.

And now, I feel better.

How do you take out your aggressions?


Sunday, November 14, 2010

A trip to Atlantic City

Friday afternoon, I headed with six of my BFF-Sisters to Atlantic City to see Toby Keith in concert. AWESOME!

As a result, I was still exhausted Saturday afternoon when I should have been training.

So, I missed my run Friday and my training session Saturday......

The result: my run sunday kicked butt!!!!!
An easy 7 miles at base pace.......

I was having a great run until this woman walking her dog, looked at me and then stepped right in front of me.... and could not understand why I almost tripped over her and her dog.

Overall, a phenomenal run!

Taking some time off....

Friday morning.....
I managed to successfully finish .9km..... woo-hoo!!!!!!

Thursday night, I watched Burn Notice. I was utterly exhausted. My muscles were cramping for NO reason except I was exhausted!!!!! And wow.... i hate the pain surrounding that.

Friday morning, I felt crunch time because I was traveling in the afternoon....
And I was off for my run and training.....

And my body said.... NOT TODAY!

So, I called it a day and allowed my body the rest!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I feel sore.....

A good sore.....

my legs reminded me of the hard work this week..... my legs reminded me that it will be nice to get in the pool this afternoon.

I am feeling the effects of my training. I have stepped it up and wow!

The good thing is my training is not negatively affected. The workload is still being produced.

I saw this in my interval/hill run this morning. My warm-up is to be at recovery pace.... which has been increasing in tempo since I recommenced training. And the hill sprints were at 3k pace.... the warm-down was slower than the warm-up--but it was still competitive.

I am looking forward to swimming later.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Personal Trainers......

Honestly, I hate what the gyms refer to as "TRAINERS".....
You know those people at the gym who have it plastered on the back of their shirts....


NOTE: some of these individuals are extremely focused and goal-oriented and professional..... and then there are the rest of them.

While training this morning, at the facility local facility I frequent, I observed several of these so-called trainers at work..... if that's what they would like to call it.
(Honestly, I would not hire anyone of them). The four that I observed all looked like babysitters.

-Training should have an objective or directive. --- Why are you training? period.

-Each training session should have an objective that supports the overall directive. --- What are we trying to accomplish today? Kinda like a lesson plan..... Training/teaching/coaching with an expected outcome. In other words, why are you doing what you are doing. For that day. For that week. For that month.... etc.

-Everything performed should be orchestrated to accomplish the overall goal.

*Maybe I don't get it.... but when I am with a client, I have a clipboard and an individual training session for that day..... with the objectives of the session, notations for the day, reminders, questions to ask, notes from the previous session... follow-up on homework. I have a file-folder on all my clients.... with not only personal history, but goals, objectives and all the notes from training sessions.... and other notes to vary the overall training calendar.

At this facility, not one trainer had a clip-board or a sheet of paper or something to indicate where the client would be taken today. Not one had a pen or pencil tucked behind his/her ear to make notations of the accomplishments. Not one came across as professional to me.

It was pretty scary to see the clients just being led around like sheep or cattle from one exercise to another......

Maybe my expectations are different. I want to be coached. I want to know what the goal for the session is. I want to know why we are doing. I want to know that we are learning new skills that will help with my overall performance later. I want to be taught-- not just led through the work. If I know the expectations, I might better know when I am supposed to really push through a movement pattern and I might better know when I am supposed to just build on the previous exercise. I might be more effective in my overall training and accomplishing my goals.

I was pretty amazed that people actually pay to be led like sheep.
I am shocked that people don't want to be educated and instructed.
I am challenging myself to bring purpose to my client's training and continuing to educate them on the expectations surrounding their objectives.

Maybe that is why I am a coach..........

Love- Hate Relationship.......

With the scale. Can you believe this week I gained 6#???? Seriously!!!!!!

What is that? Where did that come from? I blink..... and the scale so generously gifted me weight I had so diligently worked to lose. Grrrrrrrrrr!!!!!

I completely understand why some people struggle for so long. There is a wonderful love-hate relationship with the scale. While it is good to follow along and be mindful of what is happening in terms of weight, one cannot let the number on the scale dictate what I am doing.

Granted.... it got cold and I have been eating a bit more.
Granted.... i am dealing with monthly hormonal swings/changes.
Granted.... there are some challenges in the whole process.

Being fixated on a single number.... when clothes fit differently, running is faster, training is harder and recovery is better.... defeats the whole process.
It is good to know where and what and how.....
It is not good to use it as the sole point of fixation.

I am working hard this week to take back my numbers from the scale!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Four Mile Run.....

What a way to start the week and the day......

An easy four mile run!!! and while I was running a a fast tempo, the run felt smooth. It felt good.

I must be getting in 'shape' or at least conditioned for my running!!!!!

Yesterday, I weighed in.... dropping another 1.8# !!! Woo-Hoo!!!! Each step of the journey is bringing me closer to my racing weight!!! Looking forward to seeing my old-friend again.

Now, the NYC marathon.... exciting day in NYC!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Afternoon Cardio....

It seems that Saturday afternoon, is the perfect day for my extra cardio training......

Scheduled for today was cross-training (marathon training) and 1 hour 45 minute foundation bike (half-iron training).... I am still building up to the half-iron training... so, next week I will repeat week one.

NOTE: I would rather spend more time building a successful foundation and getting accustomed to a training cycle, than plowing ahead unprepared. That would definitely lead to injury. My primary focus is still the marathon training.... so, if the running/recovery becomes compromised the other will get nixed.

And so, I went to the gym...... problem one: i ate (a lot) about an hour before heading to the gym...... problem two: i felt full.

I got to the gym.... and contemplated spinning in the dark spinning room (haven't found the light switch yet).... and saw these bikes with a video screen that you are racing and the handle bars move, like you are really cycling.

NOTE: those bikes suck! the seat adjustment is not authentic. For the seat height to be correct, I was sliding off the front of the seat, and not cool. There is little to no directions... and well, next time, I will bring a good playlist and ride in the dark spinning room. Maybe I will ask where the light is.......

And then I rowed.... I love the Concept II rowers.... KICKS MY BUTT every time. Period!
I completed 1100m.... 5oo full out, 100 m recovery, 500 full out... and then i felt very, very, very full.... ummmmm... that lunch i ate an hour before.

Need to figure out the eating thing on saturday. Need to re-read the spartan/warrior diet protocols. I feel best that way.... Work in progress. I will figure it out.

I ran easy to and fro the fitness center..... this added a little over 2km to my monthly tally.... but it also provided an additional warm-up and warm-down.... i was ready to cycle when I arrived at the gym.

And then wandering through the facility.... they have a 'private training only' studio..... ok... if I paid more money, it would be nice to have my own place.... there are kettle bells there (I LOVE KETTLE BELLS!).... the KBs are locked up (none others are located anywhere in the fitness facility)... and you cannot use these without a private trainer... a Master Trainer to be exact.
UMMMMM.... i own several kettle bells... you mean to tell me I can't use them unless someone is standing over me??? (I have seen their private coaching staff-- i wouldn't hire anyone).
Ridiculous. Seriously. I am amazed that they have so little respect for their membership.

Guess that is why i am only there for a short time.

impossible is nothing.....

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men

who find it easier to live in the world they've been given

than to explore the power they have to change it.

Impossible is not a fact.

It's an opinion.

Impossible is not a declaration.

It's a dare.

Impossible is potential.

Impossible is temporary.

Impossible is nothing.

.... a great quote to remind.... keep going, your goals are set before you.... seize the moment.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sweating while training...... how dare you???

A question was posed to me this morning......

I had just come in from a run-- 5k with 3 x 1 min tempo (at 1 mile pace) runs and 2 min Recovery..... I was muddy, dirty and sweaty.... in fact my clothes were wet from the sweat.

the question:

'what are you doing wrong that you are always so wet and dirty when you finish training? (and so and so isn't)......'

how do you answer a question like that? seriously..... the person asking has low self-esteem, and the person referred to has even less. i have been ridiculed by the two b/c i like to run so much and training is part of my life.... not something i do, it is my life.....
and no matter what i say, it will be used against me later......

so, hmmmmmm.......

my response was non-committal.... i just said, perhaps, i am doing everything right.... and the other isn't? i don't know.... we have different goals and objectives. we have different directives...

Mine is to win a race.

What's your directive? Is your training matching that?

To the guys.....

in my cardio training class...... Thursday mornings have been a blast this semester.

Thank you for the laughs and the hard work.
I know you will be here looking for the post on m&m's... i cant find it either, i know i wrote it...

But to all of you in my thursday morning class, I have truly enjoyed this semester.

Thank you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


1500 yards complete.

300 warm-up
8 x 25 drill (10s R)
5 x 100 swim (5s R)
8 x 25 kick (15s R)
300 warm-down

and now, i feel like i am looking through a haze.... (even though i wore goggles)
and.... par for the course of swimming, i feel like i could eat a small army, perhaps the army themselves, or the food that they would consume.

I managed to contain myself.... and enjoyed a combination of foods i have in my office here at NJCU. Amazing what ends up in my drawer, so that i have food, even when i manage to not prepare thoroughly.

and in 45 minutes, I am teaching spin class. (downside of being in fitness and physical education) the demands that are placed on the body above and beyond my normal training).

i have been adding volume slowly..... so, i trust today will be fine. i just will be exhausted when i get home... shower and probably will fall into bed. tomorrow provides no rest for the weary.... as i teach cardio training and then spin classes, before i head to the gym myself.

looking forward to the challenge. what have you done today?

Running Hills

I had my own cheering section as I blasted up the hill..... doing 3 x 1 minute sprints uphill!

There was a small group of deer, about six.... just watching me perform the hill repeats. I wonder if they wanted to join me.... i wonder if they were curious about my ambitions, and why I wasn't intimidated by my presence.

And the hill kicked my butt this morning.... wow! managed a mile pace tempo for about 45 seconds, and then the hill took over.... The first one wasn't too bad, the last two were ugly.

And so, the battle continues.....

What did you do this morning?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy November

It is 1 November 2010.......

And in 61 days this year will come to a close. Forty of these days, I am finishing a 100-day challenge with my students.... I would like to drop another 10-15# and take it from there.....
and the last 21 days, complete the task.

Yes, I have a bigger goal in mind.... I am moving steadily toward my racing weight. I am moving steadily toward the weight I was before the cycling accident.... I am moving steadily closer to the training capabilities I had before graduate school and other things got in the way......

Now, as I am returning to things that were once obstacles.... I am trusting that my insights will keep me focused... that my love for training will supersede the desire to be lazy and I will manage to use my training in study..... (actually learn more, when you study and then go for a run, a swim or a bike, or lift...)

And I am looking forward to seeing the changes occur physically, that I seek.....
I am looking forward to getting reacquainted with my six-pack.


This time of year is an awesome time to go exploring the world......

I spent yesterday afternoon in Hacklebarney State Park, hiking with a friend.
We must have walked the whole park, as we were on every trail!! Not sure how that happened....

But we managed to complete over 5 miles. The difference between a hike and a 5-mile walk, is the terrain. We wanted to see the falls, so we climbed down rocks to the water's edge.... the terrain is not flat, so we were climbing hills and strolling down to the lows after the highs.

I was pleased with my conditioning.... while some of the hills were tough, I managed to stay course and recover fairly easily.

I am looking forward to another adventure.....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

DAY 99 of 100.....


my morning run is complete.... another 10K for the books.... wow!

After last night's rowing adventure, I felt the muscles in my inner thighs, reminding me that they worked hard yesterday. I am glad I rowed, but wow-o-wow.....

Since I doubt there will be any radical changes in the next day of the completion of this 100 days, I did my measurements this morning....

This journey began the end of July, when a friend tossed me so casually from his life. The shock and disbelief that I would be treated so callously, caused me to refocus on me.... and what I want and need.... and in that, really take control of my training again.

The past 100 days have been far from perfect. I have wandered and lost focus, the summer heat and I lost direction... and my eating... has been less than stellar. But I have learned the triggers that set me off... and how to recognize behaviors before they capture me in a downward spiral.

AND the result is a weight loss of 16.1# and a body fat loss of 5%.

(Not thrilled about the total body fat loss, but am refocusing on this...)
I am completing the 100 days with my students, and over the next 40 days am anticipating further changes and hurdles to clear! I am excited about this direction as I am truly seizing control of my training.... and the direction I want to go in regards to competition.

I look forward to sharing with you......

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Nothing is more humbling than looking at yourself in the mirror...... naked.

Such was the case today, as I was buying undergarments......
And while, I see the changes my body is accomplishing, I see the hard work that has yet to be done.... the milestones that need to be accomplished.

And this week, I am adding more swimming and cycling and resistance training.

I have been observing changes throughout my 100 day challenge.... (complete update monday) and I am joining my students in the last 40 days of their 100 day challenge.... as I continue to move through my birth year.....

I am excited about the last month and some of the real changes that have been occurring as i press forward for more to happen!!!

I am looking forward to the next experience in front of the dressing room mirror.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Base Run with Intervals....

This is really cool......

Down another 2#!!! (glad i bought new shorts!)

And my runs.... the old running pace is now the new recovery pace!!!! Psych!

Today went and ran an easy 4 miles, at base pace with 5 x 45 second intervals at 1 mile tempo, with 2 minutes active recovery.

I felt good!! The intervals are kicking my butt!!! But I feel fabulous!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

And the Hills still Kick my Butt....

Hill Day..... as Wednesdays are for now. And I run to my hill.....

It seems that the hills seem to kick my butt regardless.... but i think it is because I am progressing and taking on more of the hill! This morning after my warm up at recovery pace (my run to the hill) I ran 5 x 45 second tempo sprints at 1 mile pace, with a 2 minute recovery.

I am not certain of the grade of the hill that I am running.... but today, I was seeking consistency with tempo. I ran the first one hard to see how far up the hill I could get in 45 seconds. During my recovery, I returned to the start position. The bench mark was to return to or surpass the distance of the first sprint. (Keeps me honest). And while I was tired between sprints, I could successfully complete all of the sprints. AWESOME!

And then the warm-down at recovery pace..... I took my time. After all, it was recovery pace.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Runs are Improving....

And I am slowly getting faster....

So fast, that I am learning to handle the new tempo.

So fast, that I tapped my pacing monitor to be certain that it was working properly.

So fast, that I am struggling to keep up with my legs..... ahhhhh.... the breathing thing.
Will be working on that. But things are coming together! finally.....

I am beginning to run at previous tempos and I am beginning to run more specific to my goals. The tempo is increasing and so is the distance.

Looking forward to new challenges as I press forward.

Being Undervalued....

It is truly bothersome when people FAIL to treat you equally, as they would another.

I have joined a health club to do some training that I need to do, as the weather is starting to do what the weather is going to do this time of year. I am pretty self-sufficient, and with my pending move, I will only need to use the facilities for 2 months.

I phoned yesterday to make an appointment to ensure someone was able to meet with me. I spoke with the sales consultant, James, and told him what time I would be there. He was just like... I am working 9 to whenever and just ask for me. UMMMMM.... do you not understand what making an appointment means?

And so, I show up to the facility..... James is finishing with a client, but I could have a seat here.... and I was seated in the midst of a promotional for NU Skin and I met Ian Ziering! (Steve Sanders from 90210).... *Amazing conversation! I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with him.* And in the midst of waiting for James, who no longer seemed interested in my potential, I was introduced to a cool product!
An apology was made to James who shrugged it off as, she is only here for 2 months... no biggie.

So, when i finally finished learning about new stuff....
I was able to speak to James who treated me like I was dirt..... fill this out, sign that, how are you going to pay..... and the whole time, i was thinking.... I can take my money down the street. Granted, I didn't.... but why wasn't I offered a copy of the class schedule, why wasn't I offered a comp session with a personal trainer, why...., why..... why?????

HONESTLY.... it shouldn't matter if I was going to be there a month or a year. I should receive the best customer service possible. Who knows? I might be a gold mine.... I might be someone who has friends, someone who refers peeps.... someone who.... possibilities are endless.....
But James chose to view me as a single two-month sale, and as a result lost a great deal.

Sad, actually.... and he is a sales person.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Purging Continues....

Sunday run and my body continued purging.

Not a pleasant experience. Details, once again spared.

Thoughts and Lesson Learned: STOP WITH THE JUNK!

period. I am creating a clean environment for my body, and it does not process non-clean foods. I am learning appropriate balances.... I still enjoy yogurt, I still like cheese. But I do not need as much as I used to eat, nor do I want it. Much of the time, I am satisfied with a bite of whatever.... and I should move on. Otherwise, it doesn't taste good.

No more junk food for me.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Eating Clean.....

Last night, I decided to voyage out to eat. I have been eating clean and so I was pretty choosy about what I ate. I ate slowly and enjoyed some chinese food from a local restaurant that I have frequented before.

On the walk home, I didn't feel right. I felt too full, although I hadn't eaten to stuffing. I felt in pain. So, I decided to relax with my feet up and a good book for a couple hours.

Later that evening..... my body rejected the 'junk' I had eaten. And while I will spare you the details, it was not an experience I would like to repeat any time soon.

Today, I woke feeling a little out of it. The lesson learned is how careful I need to be with my choices since I have been eating cleanly.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Run Was Amazing.....

I have been struggling this week..... for whatever reason, distraction, or something else.... with just running. The distances have been short as I am rebuilding after the marathon. And for whatever reason, I have been stopping to walk...... not that this is a bad thing, but I have noticed with the stop, comes the challenge to recommence....

And today, I ran the entire 6k without stopping. Just the whole way..... and for the most part, the tempo was consistent.....


Yes, for me who has been challenged with some things coming and going. I am pleased that I have come through this with a success star!!
And I found the 4 x 30 second sprints to be fairly simple to finish the repeats as well.

Double success.

Now, I anticipate repeating this success. Again and again and again!

Day 90 of 100.....

The end is in sight!!!

It seems after the marathon, that my goals are coming together.

I stepped on the scale early this morning and I lost another .8#.... previously, this might have been a yawn or a frustration. Now it is a demonstration of the pecking away at the goal I want to achieve.

Tomorrow, I reach Day 40 of the Paleo.... and Day 70 of my Birth Year..... and my college kids challenge are half-way through their 100 days.

On Wednesday, I achieved something that hasn't been possible for a while. I ran hard, I swam recovery and then I taught a pretty intense Spinning class. (Granted Thursday, I predominantly rested). And Thursday, I felt fine.

Running is getting easier again. I am carrying myself better. I am moving more fluidly. And I am enjoying the run more.

So, I am looking forward to the next 10 days. These past 90 have set foundations for goals to keep pressing forward, as I take chunks away to achieve all my goals.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

All Three Sports.....

And yesterday.......

I managed to train in all three sports. WOW.

I woke to an awesome run.... HILL SPRINTS! Love them....

Decided to return to my swimming protocols..... and I completed an easy 600 yards.

And then..... taught a 45 minute SPINNING class....

And yesterday..... after my evening shower, I crashed. I was beat.

(I felt really good though, when I woke this morning!!! No post-training fatigue or soreness!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010



And so, once a week.... I am off to the hill, i like to call Thor! (Sometimes, it is better to name your nemesis. You feel better when you tackle it!)

The run is about 4 km to arrive to the base of the hill....
and today's objective was 4 x 30 sec sprints at 1 mile tempo with 2 minute recovery.

Success! Today I was on point! I was in a rhythm. Just putting the feet down, one in front of the other, push and go, push and go.... and it felt easy.

And then I arrived at the hill.

Sprints, while a challenge were a success!!! and then the run back down the hill!!!

I am observing how easy the runs are beginning to feel again. My pace is quickening effortlessly, and I am just enjoying the run!!! Training can be most excellent and FUN!

I guess that is why I do it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Keeping Focus.

I think there is something to be said about training without watches, timers, pacers at times.....

This morning, I was out for a run... I felt great. A nice comfortable steady pace. Everything was in check......

Until I looked at my pacing apparatus.... my mind said, what?!? you are running too fast! slow down or stop... we might move in overload.... and then i became distracted.

I should have just run.

And not worried about the gadgets or toys or phone.....

I should have just run.

An Oreo

I had a craving for an OREO cookie the other day. Sad to say that one must buy a whole bag of oreos in order to have just one.

And so, i succumbed to my desire for the cookie... and the first one tasted good. The second and third not so much.... and I tossed the bag.

What did I learn? A single oreo might be ok to have if I want it... but don't push the issue. Just have one.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

And what is the point of your training?

'I don't think they give any awards for workouts. To the best of my knowledge, there are no gold medals for 'Most Mileage.' -- Craig Virgin, three time Olympian.

I love this quote.... as I attended a workshop yesterday, I had to laugh. Some trainers have people convinced that just working out is the way to be.... and some people I talk to are just so excited about being able to complete two workouts in the week.... b/c they don't have the time (time-- that's a completely different post... managing time and priorities.... seriously, when you say you don't have time, I ask who is managing whom... you time, or time you).... And those who just train and never step into competition.

I love to train. If I didn't, I wouldn't do it..... year round.
But there has to be a point to my training. There has to be a milestone to cross. In fitness centers throughout the country, mindless fitness can be observed.... day in and day out... people just doing. WHY? What is it that is expected? What is it that needs to be accomplished?

And that is where racing comes in..... We race to measure fitness. We race to test ourselves. We race to determine the efficacy of our training. We race because it is fun.

Some people use other competitions to measure these components.

But the point is..... there is no gold medal for most mileage. Get out there and measure your fitness.

70 Days Until Christmas.....

Only 70 days?!?! and for some of you I am witnessing some panic......


ONLY 70 DAYS!!!!!!! and there is a grandness of excitement!

One of my friends posted this on her facebook status. Only 70 days until Christmas.

And I thought of the goals I have set before me for the next 70 days. I am continuing my personal challenges until Christmas. I am moving before Christmas. I am seeking to drop 26# (just stepped on the scale and I am down 2.4#)! As well as continuing my running, hopping, skipping, jumping and all the other stuff I do.....

And it really made me think if my friend can lost 25# in 100 days, what can I continue to do to restructure my life in the next 70 days!!!! It isn't that I have failed in the previous 85 (as I am in the last 15 days of the original 100 day challenge)... or in the additional 45 days from the intermingling of the challenge with my students. It means, I have 70 days until Christmas.... 70 days for me to really focus and achieve my goals.

What can you do in the next 70 days?

Weight Gain while Working in a Gym????


I returned to my old stomping grounds.... I visited NYC and specifically attended a workshop at Club H, a fitness center I used to work for. It was interesting to return to this commercial gym. While I worked there, I did private coaching (personal training), while i was teaching at a local college... And while they claimed to be different than any other commercial gym, they were the same. It was a numbers game. As long as you were producing, you were important.

And..... so, my relationship at club h came to a screeching halt.... after my numbers dropped, i was pursuing interests and opportunities elsewhere and the management really didn't seem interested in me anymore.

While I was there..... I gained weight. And a good friend of mine who is still a coach for the organization, did too.
One would not expect a private coach, working in a gym to gain weight. But it does happen.

IN the commercial gym setting, trainers are expected to train, to produce, to generate clientele, which in turn generates money for the club. And sometimes, in the stress of production and playing the numbers game.... the health and fitness of the trainer gets overlooked.

During my tenure at Club H, I was commuting. My commute was a part-time job. I wanted to train clients around my teaching schedule. And the club wanted weekends and nights and mornings and every open time..... And I was tired.
Well, we know that when someone doesn't get enough sleep or is under stress, the body produces cortisol to protect itself. Cortisol is like the fat jail-keeper... it rounds up the fat and stores it. And until the cortisol levels drop, the fat stays..... regardless of what you are doing.

And...... at times, when i had a break, the last thing on my mind was working out.

So, the dynamic challenge of training and programming and then training myself.... was always off balance. And in the end..... i gained some weight. My friend did as well.... and she was the one who inspired me to the 100 day challenge. She just recently put herself through this challenge and lost 25 pounds! Amazing!! And she looks great!!!!

Regardless of our work situation, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle.
It is easy to forget about ourselves and focus on stuff around us.

Part of the reason for my 100 day challenges and refocusing at the beginning of the calendar year as well as the beginning of my birth year. I cannot afford to be lost.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Racing Weight....

I am currently re-reading Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald. I like to read books that are especially helpful more than once and I have learned new stuff from the read this time around.

I was calculating where I need to be to improve my Racing abilities, by losing the extra body fat that is just hanging out, and improving my racing times. I know I can do more work with less effort when there is less of me to carry about.

And, I have a goal for Christmas and I am pursuing that goal.

I have continued in my Spartan/Warrior attitude.... of nuts, fruits, veggies, lean meats or fish.... 90% of the time.... but I am taking it up a notch for the duration to Christmas and focusing on 100% of the time. I like the Spartan and Warrior lifestyles.... live or raw foods during the day time when we are most active and my main protein feeding in the evening.... I feel better this way. I have more energy most of the time.... I just need to remember to eat.

In conjunction with my challenges.... i have less than 20 days left in my original challenge and I am approaching the half-way mark with my students. I am refocusing on my eating and getting back to basics as I am entering the home stretch!

Chasing 1000 km....

Crossed a milestone and didn't even realize it, until I was doing the math.... This year (so far), I have run 622 km.... wow!! Who would have imagined that, when last year I completed 381 km.


My goal for the beginning of this year was to complete 500 km... (same as last year, which I fell slightly short)... and I am at full realization that I have passed the 500 km mark, and am cruising toward 700 km!!! (REGARDLESS of where I finish in relation to 1000 km, I have already accomplished my goal, and know the goal for 2011 will be 1000 km!)

Exciting Runs are ahead!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

ouch.... ouch.... ouch....


Yesterday, I recommenced the resistance training segment of the programming.... and today, my legs are reminding me of that! (in a good way, of course)....

I did 20 minutes of a kettle bell interval set, with kettle bell swings, jumping jacks, squat thrusts, mountain climbers, and a 1 minute run. I also did jumped rope 100 times. (wow... I am uncoordinated). And while I cannot jump rope very accurately, I did notice my endurance and strength is different than the last time I tackled this program. I am creating changes in the program to fill deficits I have in my training and physical competencies... Today, I am going to add one-legged squats (modified: sitting on a bench and getting up on one-leg).

I ran 3 miles yesterday focusing on pacing drills. It was a challenge. Today, I ran 3 miles with a single 30 second hill sprint. (I will be building on this).

I am excited about seeing changes.... and while I understand the changes may not move as quickly as I would like, I am trying to abandon the thought of existing in a microwave oven... push a button, 3 minutes later, beep... final product!! I wish it was that easy!!!

But onward with my goals.... 30# by christmas. Focus, Focus and Focus....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Passing Day 75....

Day 75 of my original 100 day challenge was thursday... the day i was flattened. The day I lost 4#... the day I slept.

and I am sitting at day 37 of the NJCU (my students challenge) and I passed Day 30 of the Paleo.... and I said to myself....

I am doing a great deal of counting and my mileage, resistance training and my weight is fluctuating... granted, I have overcome some milestones in the past 75 days... and some of the goals have been accomplished. But my credibility is varying and I am feeling stagnant. It is time to get back on track!!!

So.... tomorrow... I am finishing strong... my goal to the rest of the year is to lose 30#. (And then I can reestablish the goal). And to train 'hard' six days a week. And to bring up my running and swimming mileage.... biking will taper a bit and be reintroduced. I need to weight train... working specifically on my movement deficiencies... single leg strength, and upper body strength -- i want to be able to do a pull-up and a push-up -- and I need to become very active again.
I am re-reading Racing Weight by Matt Fitgerald, and I am conscientiously refocusing on eating Paleo... warrior style.
I am going to make this happen.... as I lose the weight the training will become more efficient... i can train harder with less effort... and start seeing running i used to be able to do....
I need to get back to that place.

So, running, swimming, jump-roping, skipping, hoping, climbing, kettle bells, mini-bands, and any other means necessary. This winter, I am going to be dropping the weight... instead of storing the fat!

And it continues.

Friday, October 8, 2010

AND....... pow!

I am knocked down! Flattened.... like something tossed under the bus!

Wednesday night I knew Thursday was going to be a challenge. Shortly after I went to bed, I could feel the rumblings insides and the muscles being disagreeable...... and so, the night went. I was up more than I slept and my quad cramped. NOT PRETTY!

and Thursday..... the day I teach Cardio Training and Spinning, I woke struggling to stand, struggling for balance, struggling to feel more human than road kill...... and so, I canceled classes (something I HATE TO DO!) and went back to sleep....

Was rudely awakened by the TV at 9am.... seriously loud, that it hurt my ears from across the house with my door closed... and then fell back asleep and slept again to the afternoon.

And so, my day continued.... a little sleep, a little broth, a little gorilla munch (gluten free), and then a little nutella on a flatbread cracker.... i know, i know... paleo... i did have some pineapple, some juice and then shocking.... some coffee as i watched some of the yankees take game two over the twins.....

And back to sleep for another 9 hours!!!!


Woke this morning and chose to run..... scheduled to do 3 miles at base pace with sprints.... i managed to do 2.5 miles, and struggled with that.... at slow pace.... AND i am content with the results..... it was a challenging day yesterday, i lost 4# and today, i am going to take it slow.

Sometimes, i guess we need to sleep.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


And so...... my attempt at running my first marathon post-cycling accident didn't go as planned.... BUT IT IS ALL GOOD!

My travels to milwaukee were interesting and delayed.... due to the rain in the northeast. Everything was backed up. Fortunately, I was only delayed about 90 minutes....

And then I had to make adjustments in my eating.... not-only pre-race, but my cousins eat like a typical american..... lots and lots and lots of grains.... *doesn't work for me* (As a result I gained 4 pounds in this adventure-- pretty certain it is water weight, and will drop as i readjust to post-flying and resuming training diet.)

The night before the race.... had some pretty wild dreams..... scary!!!!

And then I was struggling.... my legs were cramping, my body was not feeling rested, and I was not certain what was going to happen.... Sunday morning, I woke.... not feeling excellent... BUT I was going to give it a whirl and see what happens.

And after the pre-race rituals.... I started. And I felt great..... was starting my pace between the four-hour and four hour thirty minute groups to find a tempo and then move from there..... AND I felt awesome at the start.... UNTIL..... THE 5k mark.... my body broke down...... and so, I stopped the race.
My thought is: It is better to be able to run another day!!!!

And I enjoyed watching the finishers cross the line.... It was really COOL!!!

(looking forward to volunteering at a race in the future!!! and giving back!)

This morning..... I evaluated what happened.....
Part of it: summer and the ugly weather.
Part of it: I lost my focus.... I was doing more cross-training to keep the cardio-fitness up, but in the month of September... I had only run a total of 35K total. NOT GOOD!

My new goals: I am taking some time off.... to regain my focus. I am working with my college kids on a cycling program and a 10-week iron-man, so I will be doing things. But I am taking a rest.

In about a week, I will recommence training.

I am setting goals for 2011 and 2012.... AND I am planning my races.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Conquering Fears......

Tomorrow, I leave for Milwaukee.....

Sunday, I take on my first road race since I bounced across the hood of the SUV that knocked me off my bike, the one that convinced the police she stopped in time and I fell as a result of being startled.....

Sunday, I defeat that ghost.

Sunday, I show the world.... that I can still fight, that I can still train hard and that I can still be the best athlete I can possibly be.... yes, I am a long way from the athletic ability that I once was... I am carrying more body fat (blech), I am not as fast as I was, and I still get tired and ichy feeling when training is too much......

But none of that matters!

ON SUNDAY, I take it all on...... and regardless of the outcome, because I have the courage to step up to the starting line, I am victorious.

Some of you have verbalized (out loud and to my face) that I train too much, I play to hard or you don't get it. YOU DON'T HAVE TO!!!!

I TRAIN BECAUSE I CAN! I TRAIN BECAUSE I LOVE IT! I TRAIN BECAUSE........ and I am glad that I still have the ability to put one foot in front of the other and compete.

I am proud of myself for the journey I have taken to get back to competing.... and I am looking forward to continuing to compete.... The journey has just begun!!!! And I have succeeded.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sometimes..... just feels right.

This mornings run... well, the warm-up. WHAT A STRUGGLE. I felt like I had forgotten how to run.... and then, I hit a certain spot in my warm-up and bang!! I was moving.... the rhythm was there. And I felt good.

Breathing on the other hand was another issue.

But here I am several days out from the marathon, and I should be feeling something.... and I feel tired. Tired from the hormones in my body right now, tired from the little bit of work I have done.... and just struggling to find a rhythm with my running.

The good news: my weight has not fluctuated. I went up 2# and returned back 2# .... and today, the weight stayed the same. I could look at it as bad news... but since I am in the midst of monthly hormonal and body changes, I am glad there is no fluctuations. I am also surprised there are no cravings. I had a taste of red velvet cake icing (the cake doesn't taste good to me anymore) and the icing was ok. (It is interesting the differences in cravings since eating Paleo).

I am looking forward to a new program after the marathon.
I want to build a solid foundation of running and swimming and rowing.... and biking when it is nice to go out on the trails this fall and winter. (I hate indoor cycling-- even on the trainer-- and since I teach several spin classes a week, I am getting my cycling in). I also think I might do some water running and create some variety there. My body weight training will become a focus as well..... as I move forward to lose the remaining weight, keep my challenges for myself and my students AND lay the foundation for an awesome running and triathlon season for 2011!

Until then..... i found my rhythm today. Sunday, I hope it returns.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bad Dreams....

I woke at 4.30 am from a bad dream about my pending marathon.

I wasn't in the right city at the right race, and my shoes kept getting bigger as I ran.......
fortunately, it was just a dream.

Although, I am not feeling ready by any stretch of the imagination for this race.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Paleo -- Day Ten

I have completed ten days on the Paleo Diet. After some noise from others, regarding my choices, I was like.... whatever. And I have managed to complete ten days.

I weighed in yesterday, and found I gained 2 pounds. I wasn't truly annoyed, as I am pre-menstrual and normally, I would gain 5 or more pounds of water weight. Additionally, I have little to no symptoms. Hmmmmm....... I am tired today... it is probably a combination of exhaustion from thursdays and hormones. AND my normal cravings are practically non-existent. In fact, I am craving a good piece of fish and some broccoli.... much different than the junk, and sugars and salts I am normally craving.....

I have also noticed that I can smell salt and I can smell sugar. A guy opened a bag of potato chips on the train the other day, and the salt was overwhelming. Interesting?

I will report in on this in ten days. I am resting today.... Thursdays kick my butt.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Sunday Ride

Sunday, yesterday, I found myself voyaging south on the canal to work with a client. And so, I seized the opportunity to bike to and fro her house.

A gorgeous day greeted me. Was a bit concerned as I was somewhat awake until 3am. Not my ideal, but I was able to get enough sleep before I went out. I ate a solid breakfast comprised of two scrambled eggs, some olives and pineapple.

And I prepared my water, my bars, my fuel for the ride so to speak..... AND off I went to ride 30miles one-way.

The canal was full of people, so my choice to ride at a moderate tempo was wise. (Wish people knew how to share). And the ride went smoothly.

I drank all the water in my camelback reservoir and refilled at Dunkin Donuts before finishing the last of the trip to my clients home. I also drank water in DD and had one of my 'energy' bars.

The return trip was easy until I hit the 45-50 mile mark in my journey. That is when I got tired. I stopped and ate another bar, drank some of my amino vital, and enjoyed sitting on a bench. My abs were tired and I was struggling with them not cramping. My legs struggled, not with pedaling, but with strength getting on and off the bike.
I got to the point where I am less than 2miles from home, and there is a big spill-way on the canal, that dips like a 'stunt-hill.' I always walk that and I struggled with my quad strength walking down and then back up the hill. And I got back on the bike for the remainder of the trip home.

ONCE home, I showered and ate and watched a CSI episode to unwind and felt myself fighting with sleep. When I decided to go to sleep, I found my Right Vastus Medialis (inner quad) had cramped... and ow, ow, ow.... pain like I cannot describe. To circumvent, I licked the 'shots' worth of salt and drank some water. And eventually the cramp subsided.

I am glad Mondays are a scheduled rest day. My body needs to recover. I feel a little 'achy' from the distance, but I don't feel like I cannot move. The struggle to finish was a good one, and I am glad I accomplished this. I do know I need a new mountain bike though.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Night Run

WELL, late afternoon actually..... to escape the religion on tv that permeates this house on Saturdays..... and the humdrum and monotony of waiting for someone to turn off the TV so others can exist in the house.....

And so, off I went. The goal to run the 7-mile loop.... well, i finished the 7-mile loop, but not exactly running. And I have a marathon in two weeks.... well, I am just going to go do what I can, and take it as it is.... this summer was impossible and challenging beyond belief with training.

In the midst of this run, I felt distracted. Personal life creeping in....
Much going on.... and much to think about.....
And I was simply reminded to breathe.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursdays Kick My Butt....


I get home and I am ready to sleep by 8pm. And well, I don't have to stay up to 'please' anyone... if I am tired, I do the smart thing and go to sleep.

Part of this could be because I am back in the school term and haven't grasped my schedule yet. Part of it could be the combination of training and work throughout the week. Part of it could be the eating drama on Thursdays. I have two classes back-to-back, and ten minutes to prepare for the next class and eat. The second class is a spinning class, so I cannot eat too much. I ate some fruit and had some protein in a bottle.

But when I finally do get home, I am spent. The day is done. And I find myself falling asleep.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


It is often interesting, sometimes funny, actually very sad what people think when you say the word diet. I shared about following Paleo for the next 50 days (starting today) on Face Book as well as other social networks... and it is interesting the response. The athletes in the group were like share with us your experience.... they know what it is. The non-athletes and those who are seeking something to follow or do... asked questions like, What is that? How long do you have to follow it? Is it a program that tells you what you need to do when and what to eat?

So we are clear, when I say diet, I am referring to eating habits, lifestyle, choices regarding food. I am not referring to something one goes on for two weeks to starve and then returns to normal eating.

I have found consistency in my exercise programming, especially in the last two weeks, as summer and travel create their own challenges. I know something is not quite right.... so, the best place to start is with food.... NOT only what I am eating, but when I am eating it... in relation to the time of day, in relation to my competing, in relation to hunger. AND am I eating enough or not enough.
The next 50 days (in my last 100) is about getting that down.... b/c I wonder sometimes, if I am eating enough. AND if I am not, that would contribute to the challenges of fat loss. And so, I am going to experiment with my protein (yes, animal) intake and see what needs to be done. I do love fruits and veggies, but I also enjoy animal protein, and while we tend to eat too much of it as a country in the USA, I need something to rectify my challenges as I am facing them.

And so..... my diet is about a lifestyle change. My diet is about changing habits. My diet is about me and my life..... (some call it eating clean..... i will call it the cave woman).

JOIN me if you like.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to the Paleo....

It is Day 51 of my 100-day challenge (day 12 with my students) and I suspect that I am not getting enough protein or BCAAs (branch-chain amino acids). While I am eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, I don't know if I am eating enough calories in general.

And I remembered a conversation I had at the beginning of the year with a nutritionist..... At the time, she asked me if I was hungry at the end of the day, and thought I wasn't getting enough protein or calories.... I increased the calories and well, I wonder if I am not getting enough protein.

So, I am refocusing (again) on my eating-- and will be comprehensively following the Paleo Diet.... I am permitted to eat as much lean meats, poultry, seafood, fresh fruit and veggies as I want, and limited nuts (like a handful of almonds).
I cannot eat cereal or grains, dairy products, high-glycemic fruits or veggies, legumes, alochol, salty foods, fatty meats, refined sugars or nearly all processed foods.

The caveat surrounds my training and competition.... Since the book, The Paleo Diet for Athletes contains the guidelines, I will be following the advice for pre and post exercise meals, which can include sweet potatoes, bananas, yams, or melons.

And of course a cup of coffee..... every day.

I look forward to sharing my experiences.

The difference of a week.

Last Monday, I went out for a run...... trying to put together my scattered training of this summer..... And I struggled. It was by far the beginning of the toughest run ever. And the distance was irrelevant. I ran the loop by the cemetery and did more walking than running...... and continued with my week.

Friday, I hit exhaustion. And today, I went out for a 55 minute run (5-mile loop) because I did not run yesterday.

I wasn't concerned with speed. I was concerned with consistency in pace and finishing strong.

And so, I ran. AND I ran. And I ran..... and I finished strong. I even pushed myself the last 400m to finish strong. (still need to work on that).

And then I did my 2 x 20 sec sprints. And those while challenging, felt strong.

Shall we call today a success?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

And in the midst of my frustration.....

I stumbled across this web-site that promised to reveal the secrets to fat burning......

After watching the video, well part of it.... i lost my patience, I learned for just $40 (for a value of over $400) I too could have a 31 day fat-loss program.... as seen on TV..... and I too could learn the secrets that only this person knows......

AND I would only have to work out 10 minutes/day.......

and for a minute the part of me that wants a quick fix, was tempted to 'whip out my credit card' and then the part of me who is working really hard to return to the competition circuit, thought i would rather use the $40 for something to do with my training/competing, like a new swim suit.

The reality..... there are no secrets.
The reality.... some people make it seem like 'cardio' is not fun!!!!
The reality.... i love running, biking, swimming.... and yes, i need to be consistent in my strength workouts, b/c they will keep my moving fast through the race.....
The reality..... everyone is trying to sell you something.

So, i am going to continue pressing forward on my journey. Because I am an athlete.

DAY 50 of 100

Half-way through my personal 100 day challenge...... (and day 11 of my college kids).

How am I doing?
-- up to this point in the challenge, I struggled with consistency in my training and workouts. This week.... I worked out five of the seven days. And I was supposed to train Friday, but I felt achy, so I took the day off and was able to conquer the ride yesterday.

--eating: is still some drama.... i do eat primarily fruits and veggies... but I will be honest, I broke down and blew off the 21-day vegan.... I was sooooo hungry. So, back to Paleo it is. I was proud of myself, I picked up chips at the store yesterday, looked at them and put them back down.

--weight loss: this one I don't get.....I was down a pound on wednesday, and today, I am back up five pounds. Seriously. Five pounds in three days? How does that happen? Sometimes, I really hate being female. I don't get it...... I need to spend the next 50 days really evaluating my eating and creating consistency.
And I need to figure it out.... b/c I hate this. And of course the inches that were lost, are pretty much gone too.... LIKE SERIOUSLY. WHAT IS THAT?
*I am not going to starve myself, but I need to figure out beside female hormones, why I
am clinging to the weight that I drop some and jump right back to where I was. That is
truly depressing, if nothing else.

--I need to also be consistency in my weight training. I should be doing 15-20 minutes daily. And to date, it has been sporadic. This may create some changes in the fat loss.

And so, I am half-way through my challenge.... and I have plans for the next 50 days!
(and then the next 89 with my students. I trust something will come of this).